My path to the school of dreams
My name is Juuli and I am honored to be a part of Academic Adventures marketing team. I’m half way through my first year of entrepreneurship and team leading studies at Proakatemia. And what a ride it has been!
I’ve always been an energetic and super-social person. I did pretty well in school, but I’ve always thought teaching was a bit old-fashioned and slow-paced – things could have been done better and more efficiently, you know? Despite the good grades I got easily bored and distracted and the teachers had to ask me to be quiet and concentrate. It was just so boring to stay still and quiet and just listen! And for that reason, despite the expectations of my family, I applied to vocational studies instead of high school. I studied beauty care for three years and oh boy, I loved it! Minimum theory, maximum practice. Even though nowadays I would maybe consider again my career choice, I never regret the studies – they thought me something really important of myself; I learn by doing, with a chance to use my own brain.
I spent a gap year working as a cosmetologist but I was craving for something more, something that challenged me. And then I found a blog post written by a present student of Proakatemia. Is this real? I remember thinking. I made Google sing and quickly made my mind – that was the exact place for me.
I was so nervous applying – I only had a vocational degree and I didn’t have any special talents. I wasn’t good with numbers neither has experience of any kind of leadership. Why would they decide to pick me? I made a short, really basic video telling about myself and sent my CV. Then I got invited to the entrance examination. It was the first days of summer when I walked through the school doors to participate in a group interview and a minor writing task. When I left the interview room I grabbed one of the interviewers sleeve and said “I really, really want to study here.” I guess they noticed my passion and will, because few weeks later I got an e-mail; you have been accepted to study entrepreneurship and team leading at Proakatemia.
The first year studies were the basic business administration studies at the main campus of Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The studies included maths, accounting, law studies, marketing, communications and languages – all the materials to build a solid base for entrepreneurship. We also operated a company with a team of ten people in a virtual environment. At times the first year studies were so hard and frustrating – sometimes I felt I could never ever graduate and pass all the exams. But somehow (after a few re-examinations in maths) I managed to accomplish all the studies. And I’m so glad I did – the studies have proven so useful and important while operating in a real business.
In August 2016 I finally began my journey at Proakatemia, the entrepreneurship unit of Tampere University of Applied Sciences. I was so excited! Everything was so new and different, something I had never done before. Usually the new students are divided in two teams on the basis of Belbin team role test but I applied to the only constantly continuing team at Proakatemia called Eventa Creative, which was a travel-orientated team that recruited ten new members every year. The first shock was when I saw my empty calendar – no timetables, no curriculum; only nine hours a week teams mutual meetings – weekly meeting and two times four hours of “paja”; teams mutual learning situation, where the team learns together by one teaching another. Apart from those nine hours no one told me what I should be doing. Yes, it would have been easy to just stay home and watch Netflix for the rest of the week, but how would that benefit my future?
Luckily the community at Proakatemia is so strong and helpful, and the older students invited us to help with their projects. By the half way through of October I was already so exhausted and I felt like I didn’t have enough hours in my days – in the beginning it’s so hard to say “no” to anything and you have learn your own limits the hard way. But now, after the though fall, I feel like I’ve got to know myself, my limits and my interest much better. I’ve learned so much about myself.
Now I’ve found my main interest, the right direction and I’ve been able to set clear goals for myself. I’ve fallen in love with marketing and found the right persons to help me achieving my goals and aiming to the stars. The first months of my journey at Proakatemia has gone in a blink of an eye and I just can’t wait to see where this path will take me in two years.
And every day I open the door of our magnificent office, I smile. This truly is the school of dreams.
– Juuli Tappura, member of the Academic Adventures marketing team